Conquer Yourself with the Heroic Minute

“Conquer yourself each day from the very first moment, getting up on the dot, at a fixed time, without yielding a single minute to laziness. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. … The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and… up! The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body.” –St. Josemaria Escriva

Two days ago, friend and fellow author and speaker, Arleen Spenceley and I challenged each other to get up at 5:30AM in order to pray, write and frankly to better discipline ourselves. We call it the #HeroicMinuteChallenge.

What. Was. I. Thinking? I am the mother of two babies: Ambrose is a whopping 6 weeks old, constantly nurses and besides his colic, a sweet baby boy. Then there is Agnes, my darling 22 months old. I love this girl, but Agnes is probably the worst sleeper on the planet, she finds herself in our bed every night, rotates 360 degrees in her sleep and occasionally has night terrors. Agnes is NOT a morning person – she must have her bottle of milk before she can face her day (note: her day consists of Daniel Tiger, her soccer ball and building blocks). To say the least, I am tired. I am tired in the morning, noon and at night. I’ve been told that I am in the “busy season of life” (really? I couldn’t tell) but I feel more like I’m stuck in an automatic revolving door and someone is increasing the speed.

But I’ll always be able to find an excuse not to do something. It’s easy to find excuses. It’s easy to be lazy, to procrastinate and it’s easy to stay the same. I don’t want an easy life. I want a great life. A life filled with holiness, because we were made for greatness. Holiness and greatness are filled with challenges and trials.

The desire to test our abilities, to accept a challenge, is nothing new. Challenges offer the promise of transformation. We want to conquer our passions, our ‘can’t do’ mentality, and transform into a better version of ourselves. We want to experience that glorious moment of crossing the finish line and the satisfaction of saying, “I did it!” But like most things in life, we need a little help from our friends.


Challenges are best handled with support and accountability.


So, Arleen and I took our heroic minute challenge to Facebook and Twitter. I was and still am shocked to have found a tribe of people ready and willing to commit to this challenge with us. People were actually excited to get less sleep! Whaaaat?

So here we are. Attempting the Heroic Minute – waking up at a fixed time (for us it’s 5:30AM), praying and then beginning our day.

We’d love for you to join us and not just so we can suffer together (however that is a bonus) but so we can conquer ourselves, strengthen our wills and transform into a better version of ourselves. I will post inspirational quotes every morning on social media for an added push not to hit the snooze button … and may even be brave enough to post some funny pictures of what a heroic minute looks like from time to time. Together, we can do it!


*Use the hashtag #HeroicMinuteChallenge for a community of support on social media.


Support Do Something Beautiful on Patreon!